Tes3Mod:Tamriel Data/Confessions and Last Resort
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I am ashamed. I never thought it would come to this. I am broken, sobbing, and desperate. I am a shadow of the man I once was. My dignity is gone. I have nothing left in this life. Everything that I have loved or cared about is gone from me. This is my final testament.
My life was not always so.
Once, I was a respected Mer of House Indoril and a Temple Ordinator on top of that. Such was my skill and standing that I was stationed nowhere other than Vivec city at the High Fane, where I frequently policed the Saint Olms canton. I spent the first sixty years of my service as an Ordinator on that patrol. My record was exceptional. I managed to arrest some of the most notorious criminals in the city, including a band of Morag Tong impersonators, and a thief who bad been robbing Hlaalu nobles blind.
When I celebrated my 150th birthday, the Temple announced a raid against a series of Daedric shrines in the Ascadian Isles region. I was one of the first Ordinators selected for the duty. I was honored beyond words at my promotion. Three days later, I found myself amongst twenty-nine of my Indoril kin, all of us fully-armored, sailing on the three ships that carried us on the raid.
Our first target was on a small island to the west of Vivec. We attacked under the cover of darkness, slaughtering the handful of followers with no losses ourselves. We then set about burning their books and destroying everything else the Temple had labeled as heretical. Our final action was to topple the statue of Mehrunes Dagon. We left the shrine a broken, burning wreck.
And so it went on like this for a month. We attacked and destroyed twelve bases for Daedra worshippers, losing only six of our brothers. Each of our kin that fell did so in the most glorious and honorable of ways, fighting to the last breath against the enemies of the Tribunal Temple.
Our final target was far south of Tel Branora. It was the largest shrine we had encountered yet. Even in the dead of night, the infernal place seemed to glow with a sickening light. We anchored and rushed at the entrance to the shrine, seeing only one guard on duty. As we came at him, a look of sheer delight crossed his face.
"Visitors, come to kill us all! Take our heads, friends, they're no good to us anyhow. Leave our feet though! We can't dance without our feet!"
He broke into a fit of laughter and fell to the ground, holding his sides as tears poured down his face. I ended his life, feeling a mix of utter revulsion and pity.
We stormed into the shrine, cutting down dozens on the worshippers. As we reached the first room of the shrine, we saw Khajiit and Argonians dressed as House Dres nobles, and Dunmer dressed as slaves crawling on the ground. The beasts were pretending to whip the Dunmer, and all were giggling at what they must have viewed as a highly comedic play. We cut them all down before they registered our presence.
In the second room, men and Mer were wearing pants on their arms, shirts on their legs, shoes on their hands and gloves on their feet. They were all dancing in perfect synchronization with each other, although no music could be heard. Unlike the previous room, these loons turned on us the moment we opened the door, attacking us with bare hands and claws. Some even bit into our armor. The fight lasted only a few minutes, and although none of us were killed, two of our men received broken limbs, and one was knocked unconscious. We split up, ten of us going left, and eleven going right. I was one of those that went right, and we passed through several rooms with no event. Eventually we entered a small room. It appeared empty, but as the last of us passed through the doorway, the door slammed shut behind us, and three Golden Saints materialized out of thin air and laid into us. Our ebony weapons met their Daedric blades, and we were able to send them back to Oblivion, but not before losing seven comrades.
We were disheartened, but forced ourselves to push on. We finally entered the main room of the shrine. The room was dominated by a huge statue to the Mad God. What we saw in this room horrified us.
Children, no older than eight, were playing with the corpses of our brothers that had separated from us. Some were wearing pieces of Indoril armor, pretending to be Ordinators themselves. Others were jumping up and down on the dead bodies, squealing in delight. I saw one using a severed head as a puppet.
Our rage and horror were beyond words. In our state of blind fury, we ran into the room, hacking the children to pieces. Some cried as we attacked, others laughed. Some simply sat and stared at us.
Of the thirty of us that had set out, there were seven of us left, three of which were injured. We backtracked and recovered our injured brothers, and brought them to the main room of the shrine. We set about our work with heavy hearts, burning the books and destroying the blasphemous material. When it came to toppling the statue, it took us two hours. While twenty of us could have done it in a matter of minutes, the handful of us that remained had quite a difficult time. By this point, our unconscious brother had regained his senses, and was able to help us. For the entire two hours we were working to bring down the statue, I felt its eyes on me. Each time I looked up at it, it was staring straight back at me, a cocky smile on its face. Even as its ankles cracked and it fell off its base, I swear it was staring at me, all the way down on its fall to the floor.
The seven of us returned to Vivec and were celebrated as heroes. I was able to retire to a small house in Methren-Ruhn. Life was treating me well. I met a weaver's daughter and married her. We had a son together. I was truly happy.
Then the voices started.
They were subtle at first, whispering strange suggestions into my ears at the most bizarre times. At the market, I would suddenly get the urge to throw fruit at someone for the comic value. My mind would tell me to trip a woman carrying a box of glasses, just to see them shatter. A voice would provoke me to start singing and dancing in the middle of a crowded bazaar. Silly stuff, really. Although I now realize I should have immediately gone to the Temple for help, I paid the voices no heed. Even though as the years went by, the voices became more numerous and insistent, I still did not obey them.
I believe this was the turning point in my life, where I officially started down the path of madness. At the time I did not realize it, but I now know that when I was refusing to obey the voices, I would do so out loud. Oh, what my wife and son must have thought of me then, a decorated Ordinator and member of House Indoril talking to himself about the most ridiculous of subjects.
The voices began to control me, however. It came to a point where I could no longer tell the voices from my own intuition and reason. Those days were my most shameful. I have no recollection of what I did. The acts of madness that I undoubtedly committed were as normal to me as working in my garden. All I know is that by the time I regained my distinction of reality and insanity, my wife and son had left me. I never saw or heard from them again.
I slipped into a deep depression. The voice no longer spoke to me. I was left to exist in the ruins of what my madness had left me. I had created multiple drawings of smiling faces on the wall by stabbing the wood with a fork thousands of times. I had somehow attached all my furniture to the ceiling. My urns had been broken open, and the pieces had been glued back together to form a giant sculpture of a fish.
And the worst part was that I felt lonely without the voices. As much as it sickened me, I knew deep down that the voices were what kept me company. I was happy when I was mad, and now that the voices were gone I was depressed. It was horrible, but I actually began to wish for the voices to come back. Each day was worse than the last. After a few months, I was reduced to a mewing wreck, curled into a sobbing ball on the floor, whispering through tears for the sweet madness to take me away from this horrible, lonely world that it had created for me in the first place.
And I remained in solitude for more days than I could count.
I awoke one morning to the sun on my face, stinging my red, dry eyes. I rose off the hard floor of my house, and made my way to a cupboard, where I had some pieces of stale bread. I took out the remainder of my food and set it on the counter, next to my water basin. I would have to get more later, meaning I would have to leave my house and expose myself to the outside world. I was afraid, people whispered about me behind my back.
I looked at my reflection in the water basin. My skin was dirty, and sagging off my thin face. My eyes were sunken deep into my skull, and I had lost most of my hair. The tips of my ears were beginning to droop. I stared into that water basin for longer than I can recall. I must have dozed off.
When I came back to my senses, I saw that a different face was in the basin. It was handsome, with a well-trimmed goatee, carefully groomed hair, and piercing eyes. The face in the basin smiled at me.
"Boo," it said.
I almost had a heart attack.
By the time I was done screaming, the basin was flipped over, with the last of my clean water until the next rainfall absorbing into the floorboards. My heart was slamming in my chest, and I was heaving to catch my breath. Did I imagine that?
"No, you did not, dear Salar."
That voice! It was as if all the voices were speaking to me again! But it was a single voice. I searched around the room for the source.
I didn't see it at first. Then I looked up at my ceiling. Sitting on a chair fastened to the ceiling, quite upside-down, was an apparition of what could only be the Laughing God.
He regarded me from the ceiling, smiling a wicked half-smile, and floated out of the chair. He rotated in mid-air, righting himself as he set down on the floor in front of me. The way he stood, one hand on his hip and one resting on his cane brought a flashback of all those years ago when I was in the service of the Temple as an Ordinator, of the statue that I and my six comrades had to bring down by ourselves. It was him.
"Oh dear boy don't look so shocked, I thought you would be glad to hear my voice again, let alone see my apparition."
I was stammering for words. Was this what I had prayed for?
"I'll be honest old boy. I am a busy Daedra. I have work to do. I offer you a choice. You can come with me, and be lost in the delightful mindlessness that I will bestow upon you. Or, you can stay here and be miserable."
My mind raced. The implications of his words set in. Yes, this was the Mad God standing in front of me. Yes, he was offering to answer my prayers. Then why was I hesitating?
Did I still have honor?
Yes, I did. Not much, but I did. I gathered my courage and spoke to him.
"Come back in a day. I need to take care of a few things. Then I will give myself to you."
"Fair enough, but do be ready when I get here. I don't like to be kept waiting. There is far too much fun to be had to just sit around and wait all day."
With that, he was gone.
I searched my house frantically for ink, a pen and paper. What I wrote then is what you are reading now. I stayed up for 24 hours straight, organizing my thoughts and writing them down.
So this is it; my last confessions.
To my Indoril and Temple brethren, I am sorry. For every year I was in service to the both of you, I was happier than I could have imagined. May Great House Indoril and the Holy Tribunal Temple live on to see the end of this world, and beyond that too. Although I have failed you both, I owe you as well. While I may not have fallen from grace had I not been an Ordinator, my life would not have been filled with the righteous thrill that one can only get from doing the holy work of the Tribunal, bless them thrice each and thrice again.
To my wife and son, whose names I am not fit to even write, for they have brought me too much joy to measure, I hope you have moved on and have found a better life away from the raving madman that was once your husband and father. I never wanted anything but the best for you, and I hope that when I die, I can look upon you from the next life and see you smile.
And to the reader, I have an explanation. I am not happy to join the ranks of loons that serve the Laughing God. It has become a necessity. I have nothing left in this world. I hope that as I join the Mad God and lose my mind, one day a warrior of the Temple will come and take my life, as I did so many years ago. Perhaps then I shall be absolved for my sins, and my spirit will be able to join my ancestors.
It has been 24 hours. I see him now, standing in the corner, twirling his cane idly. I best not keep him waiting. I never thought that my last resort would be to allow a Daedra to take my mind. May the Holy Tribunal have mercy upon me.
Kinsman of Great House Indoril
Diviner of the Tribunal Temple
Loving Father and Husband
Disgraced and a Failure, to be absolved in Death.